While mosquito “season” typically runs from April through September, controlling mosquito populations and reducing the risk for West Nile virus, Zika Virus and Chikungunya Viruses must be done on several fronts—education and prevention are at the forefront of those efforts. As we head into mosquito season, it’s imperative that residents take steps to protect themselves and control mosquito populations at home.
The primary defense in combating mosquitoes the use of larvicide. It has proven to be a more effective method for treating mosquito-prone areas than spraying, without causing any harmful effects to people. If you need larvicide donuts they are available at Ace Hardware, Lowes Home Improvement, Home Depot, and in the Wal-Mart Lawn & Garden Department.
Mosquito Control Around the Home & Office
The most important thing citizens can do to reduce the risk of exposure to the West Nile virus is to eliminate mosquito-breeding areas around the home and limit exposure to feeding mosquitoes. Many female mosquitoes can lay 100-300 eggs on the surface of fresh or stagnant water every third night during their life span. Here are some simple things citizens can do to eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites around the home and/or the office:
- Do not allow water to accumulate in the saucers of flowerpots, cemetery urns, or in pet dishes for more than two days.
- Get rid of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools, or other containers that collect and hold water.
- Clean debris from rain gutters, remove standing water from flat roofs, and repair leaks around faucets and air conditioners.
- Change the water in birdbaths and wading pools at least once a week
- Fill or drain puddles, ditches, and swampy areas.
- Check for trapped water in plastic or canvas tarps used to cover boats or pools, and arrange the tarp to drain the water.
West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne illness. Up to 80 percent of people infected with the West Nile virus will have no symptoms and will recover on their own; however, some cases can cause serious illness or death. People over 50 and those with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of becoming ill if they become infected with the virus.
The best defense is to practice these habits, known as the "Four Ds":
- Repellant use, preferably one that contains DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, is advised. Follow label directions carefully. Never apply DEET directly to your child's face or put it on children's hands. Apply repellant first to your own hands and then onto the child's face. Do not use the oil of lemon eucalyptus on children under age three.
- Dress in long sleeves and long pants when you are outside.
- Stay indoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Drain standing water where mosquitoes breed. Common breeding sites include old tires, flowerpots, and clogged rain gutters.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact City Hall at the number below.